The CVB knows their destination better than anyone else and can take our needs and see how they fit with the facilities available in their city.
Bonnie Browning, Executive Show Director for the American Quilter’s Society recently opened up about her job, her appreciation for CVBs, and in particular, the value she has found in working with the Visit Syracuse team.
What was your first industry job?
My first industry job was working with the local quilt guilds and hosting their annual quilt shows. It was a great way to combine my passion for quilting and love of planning.
What’s the hardest/most challenging part of your job? What do you most enjoy?
The hardest or most challenging part of my job is keeping costs under control when all costs are rising. Not an easy thing to do! What I enjoy the most is making all of the pieces of our events fit together even under serious time and budget constraints.
Outside the industry, what is your dream job?
I actually have my dream job! I design and make my own quilts, as well as, direct the production of seven AQS Quilt Week events throughout the year. Additionally, I am able to travel to quilting events around the world. It really is a dream job for me.
How did you first become aware of the services CVBs provided?
I have always started my planning process by contacting the Convention & Visitors Bureau when we want to look at a show site. The CVB knows their destination better than anyone else and can take our needs and see how they fit with the facilities available in their city.
How has your relationship with all CVBs grown/changed over time?
My appreciation for CVBs has grown over time because they really have all of the answers we as meeting planners need. I know I’ll get my questions answered quickly, saving me precious time.
What do you most value about your relationship with Visit Syracuse/other CVBs in general?
I value most that I am able to pick up the phone and get my questions answered or to brainstorm ideas with the Visit Syracuse staff. They are destination experts and have a real understanding of not only their city, but also my unique meeting needs.
Which specific services do you rely on?
I really rely on CVBs to work with the hotels to get block rates for our attendees. Additionally, the convention services team provides our group with maps and other collateral.
What do you think is unique about the value CVBs provide compared to other planning partners you might use?
I think what is unique is that they provide a certain level of service and expertise you can’t find anywhere else. The CVB sales professionals are destination experts and with one call, I know I can get the information I need. Plus, their services are free!
How do CVBs make your job easier?
We work many months in advance of our events so it is necessary to get local information in a timely manner. CVBs that are able to help us quickly are very much appreciated.
What would you like other planners to know about using a CVB?
I would recommend to other planners to make the CVB your first call to a city – they have the knowledge and answers meeting planners need.